Star Trek: The Animated Series Online

When I was a kid grow­ing up in the eight­ies, in a very rur­al part of the coun­try, my expo­sure to Star Trek was some­what lim­it­ed. I was too young to the orig­i­nal series that much, opt­ing for Lost in Space reruns if they were on, instead. How­ev­er, when Nick­elodeon began show­ing reruns of Star Trek: The Ani­mat­ed Series
, I was very much into it.

Unlike the orig­i­nal series (and, for that mat­ter, sub­se­quent ST series), this show had very alien-look­ing aliens1. Though some of the sto­ries were cribbed almost line for line from the orig­i­nal series, some oth­ers were new and even more fan­tas­tic than any­thing with live actors. My wife is a die-hard ST: The Next Gen­er­a­tion fan and I’d ven­ture most folks either go for the orig­i­nal series or TNG. The Ani­mat­ed Series has always been my favorite.

So I’m very excit­ed that CBS is stream­ing all of the episodes on StarTrek.com.

Decent ani­ma­tion, good sto­ries, and voice act­ing from the orig­o­nal series stars (includ­ing, the won­der­ful James Doohan as Arex as well as his more famous char­ac­ter, Scot­ty)

I just watched the first episode over lunch and I can’t wait to watch more with the fam­i­ly. Giv­en the very dif­fer­ent bud­getary con­cerns of ani­ma­tion, where spe­cial effects are cheap but each frame costs a lot, the show has lit­tle move­ment in any giv­en shot but the shots are often dra­mat­ic. In fact, rather than look­ing as dat­ed as one might expect, much of the show looks like a mod­ern flash-ani­mat­ed series for those very same rea­sons. The sto­ries are excel­lent; on par with a good sci­ence fic­tion nov­el and with less tech­no-bab­ble than many series in the genre suf­fer from2. Though

  1. I have read that part of this was Gene Roden­bury’s desire to nev­er cov­er the actor’s fea­tures. He seemed to feel that a more real­is­tic por­tray­al of an alien’s emo­tions and facial expres­sions was more impor­tant that make-up and pros­thet­ics. Admirable, though there is absolute­ly no rea­son to believe that alien species would express things in the same way as us (or even have the same emo­tions or log­ic), giv­en that pret­ty much no oth­er species on Earth does. []
  2. The jar­gon used in the first episode is actu­al­ly all pret­ty sound sci­ence and very lit­tle of it is just science‑y sound­ing filler. []

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